Letter: Long-Term Impact of Short-Term Rentals

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Letter to the Editor

The Malibu Times article on short-term rentals (transient rentals defined as 30 days or less) focused on the City’s efforts to collect taxes from unregistered properties. Hopefully, many readers saw the article in the Los Angeles Times, which presents the residents’ views. The Times article notes that residents have complained loudly about these rentals. The complaints are all very familiar to me, since I am one of the residents who have complained to the City. The rental homes are the worst kind of nuisance because they destroy neighborhoods. 

These rentals are a cancer on our city. All of the rentals in my area are owned by people who bought them for the sole purpose of operating a hotel. Living next door to one of these is a nightmare, and a bigger nightmare is that the City Council does absolutely nothing to protect the residents, but only cares about collecting taxes. Why is the City not cracking down on these as other cities have? 

New York bans transient rentals; San Francisco will require that only primary residences can be rented (the resident must live there at least three-quarters of the year). Maui County has many restrictions that protect residents, which include a requirement that the owner of the property be physically present at the home within one hour following a request by a guest, neighbor or agency, a ban on parties and gatherings, and quiet hours. Approval of such rentals also requires review and can be banned if enough neighbors object in writing. 

Carmel bans transient rentals in residential zones to “preserve the residential village character of the city.” Isn’t that why Malibu became a city—to preserve the quiet residential nature of our city? Isn’t that why many residents are proposing restrictions on development and chain stores? So why would we ban chain stores, yet allow hundreds of hotels to be operated in our residential neighborhoods? Please stand up to the City; please continue to complain and press for change. Hopefully, they will finally hear us and stop this madness. 

Robin Roberts